Summer is definitely here, at least where I live. The sun is shining, the grass is tall, the roadside vegetable stands are back in business. The bees buzz busily in the daytime and the fireflies make each night sparkle. It’s time for picnics and trips to the seashore. It’s also time to prepare for the end of summer, at least where your harp playing is concerned.
I could almost hear your mental brakes squealing. Summer’s barely started and we want to bask in every moment of it. Why should we think about the end of summer now?
Because a little bit of planning now will save you a couple of weeks later. Don’t believe me? Maybe this scenario will sound familiar.
Let’s pretend it’s late August or early September. Your vacation is over; it was terrific fun but you’re glad to be back home. Of course, there is a mountain of laundry to be done, and a stack of bills to be paid. The dog is acting weird since he came back from doggie camp (a.k.a, the kennel) and you think he needs to see the veterinarian. You look into your harp room with a mixture of longing and dread, wondering how many strings will have broken or will break as soon as you start to tune. Well, it doesn’t matter yet; you don’t have time for that right now. You have to get to the grocery store.
Eventually you find the courage to tackle the harp. You tune it, change strings, tune it again, It still sounds terrible, but you decide to play anyway. Your fingers feel like sausages, no control or agility or strength. After 15 minutes, you discover they don’t have any calluses left either. Better stop practicing and do some more laundry.
I imagine that many of you listening have had this end of vacation experience. I certainly have. In fact, almost every vacation ends something like this for me, except for one part, the harp part. As a professional harpist, particularly when I was doing a lot of freelance playing, taking a vacation was a luxury. It was hard to find time in between performances to get away and naturally, it was often not possible to have a harp with me. I needed to learn how to be able to jump back quickly into playing after an extended absence, how to get my harp, my fingers and my music back in shape in just a few days. The key is planning ahead, and today I’ll share all the tricks I have used for years to bounce back after vacation, but particularly the three things you need to do before your vacation, in order to be sure that you’ll be a happy harpist and not a harried harpist when you return.
This is how you have a guilt-free, harp-free vacation.
Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode:
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